Events, decisions, and reports at City Council this week

January 21 2021 –

Vancouver City Council met electronically this week to hear and discuss a variety of topics during Council, Public Hearing, and Standing Committee on City Finance and Services meetings. 

Tuesday, January 19

The first Council meeting of the year began with a presentation by the BC Assessment Authority on an Overview of Property Assessment and 2021 Assessment Roll (1 MB). This was for Council’s information, with no decision required.

The Acting City Clerk then presented (1 MB) on the Report Back on the Random Order Ballot Model Used in the 2018 Vancouver Election (2 MB). After Council asked staff questions, heard from one speaker, and debated, this was approved with amendments.

City staff gave a presentation (1 MB) on the Downtown Eastside Special Enterprise Pilot Program (577 KB). Council asked staff questions and heard from three speakers. After debate, this was approved.

Council also approved several reports and referral reports:

Due to time constraints, remaining items on the meeting agenda were referred to a reconvening Council meeting on Wednesday, January 20.

A Public Hearing meeting was held on Tuesday evening on four rezoning applications, which were approved:

Wednesday, January 20

The Standing Committee on City Finance and Services began in the morning by approving:

Staff then gave a presentation (104 KB) on the Code of Conduct for Council Members and Advisory Board Members (212 KB). After asking staff questions and Council debate, this was approved with amendments.

Due to time constraints, the following items were referred to the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities meeting on February 10:

In the evening, Council reconvened to deal with unfinished business from Tuesday’s Council meeting.

Staff gave a presentation (3 MB) on 7520 Balaclava Street – Proposed Agricultural Land Reserve Subdivision (319 KB). After asking staff questions and hearing from one speaker, Council approved the recommendation not to support the application.

Council approved the following referral reports, by-laws, and administrative motion:

In order to hear from speakers, the motion Turning the Key: Encouraging Affordable Home Ownership in the City of Vancouver (41 KB) was referred to the Standing Committee on Policy and Strategic Priorities meeting on February 10.

The motion A Community Safety and Well being Framework (134 KB) was withdrawn.

Council then dealt with new business, an Urgent Motion to Seek COVID-19 Wage Subsidy Funding for the PNE from Senior Levels of Government, and Congratulating U.S. President Biden. Council approved both.

The next Public Hearing is scheduled for Thursday, January 21, at 6:00 p.m. Find agendas and meeting reports via


Councillor Sarah Kirby-Yung

Regarding: Report Back on the Random Ballot

“This week Council received a report on the fairness and effectiveness of the random ballot responding to a motion I brought forward in 2019. Vancouver is continuing with a random ballot for future elections, but adding numbers to make it easier to find candidates. While it’s not perfect in terms of not eliminating order bias, I think this strikes the balance between fairness to candidates of an alphabetical ballot that always put the same people at the top, and ease for residents voting.

“Making voting easier and increasing turnout is important to our civic democracy. After the 2018 election, the City found that one in five surveyed said they didn’t vote because of the sheer length of the ballot, and that Vancouver had the longest civic election ballot in Canada! That’s why I also moved to increase the required number of nominator signatures required to throw your hat in the ring from 25 to 100 for Council candidates, and to 200 for Mayoral candidates. Glad the majority of Council voted for this; the request will now go to the Province to amend the Vancouver Charter.”

Regarding: Code of Conduct for Council Members

“I’m delighted Vancouver will now have its first ever external Integrity Commissioner to oversee a new and strengthened Code of Conduct for Council Members. The new Code of Conduct will deliver greater transparency for the public, as the findings of investigations will now be published, and any sanctions that might arise to a Council member would be done in public Council meetings. Having a third party Commissioner also ensures the process is not politicized and frivolous complaints can be dealt with appropriately. This beefed up policy is part of our commitment to increased transparency at City Hall.”